← Understanding the universe: Milesians and Pythagoras
← Before philosophy
← Hesiod Theogony vss. 116ff
← “These things declare to me from the beginning, you Muses who dwell
in the house of Olympus, and tell me which of them first came to be…”
← Argues by appeal to authority
Muses told him how things are – you better believe this man! He has
direct contact with higher beings. You just have to accept it.
Narrative that lacks any logic that would make it intelligible; a
sequence of events.
← The mythical and imminent go together.
← There is something about philosophy called “transparency”. How are
you going to argue something?
← Presocratic Philosophy
← The history of philosophy is not only a history of answers to
philosophical questions, it is also a history of the discovery of how to put
← The first philosophers (as far as we know) started with a limited set of
← How do we know about these philosophers? Textbooks!
← How did we get these textbooks? Some people wrote philosophers’
← Herman Diels / Walter Kranz
← The Presocratic Philosophers
← A collection of fragments. A fragments and B fragments.
← A fragments – testimonies about the philosopher
B fragments – original pronouncements or quotations of the
← ← Professor is going to give us a narrative that makes philosophy a
discourse. Each philosopher is simply a response to the previous. How is
each philosopher coming at a later time allowed to say what they’re saying,
given what came before them?
← The Milesians
← From Mile in eastern Greece
← Their question:
← “What is the origin (arkhé) of things?”
← What is the arkhé of the cosmos?
← “cosmos” – well-ordered, therefore beautiful; adorned; The cosmos is
← the order of the whole
← Where does the order of the universe come from?
← “Arkhé” – political rule, origin, archaic, etc.
← something important.
← The Milesian Philosophers – the first ones who identified this question.